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Carmel Mayor Jim Brainard proposes $150M Midtown development

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By Nicole Pence

CARMEL, Ind. (Sept. 15, 2014)-- The City of Carmel and Old Town Development LLC announced details for the first major development in the Midtown area Monday.

The investment of up to $150 million will bring more than seven new buildings on approximately 11 acres of land in the redevelopment areas south of Main Street.

Highlights of the project include up to 270 new residential units in the form of flats and condos, more than 200,000 square feet of office space, more than 85,000 square feet of commercial and retail space located throughout the new buildings and a 700-space parking garage. Old Town Development is partnering with the City of Carmel to develop the land in a way that will create a walkable, pedestrian-friendly area that will connect the Arts & Design District to Carmel City Center along the Monon Greenway.

Carmel resident Selena Gaines questioned how the city could support another development project: "Some people might be upset, because they will say Mayor Brainard, What are you doing? It will cost all that money?"

An estimated 800 to 1,000 permanent new jobs will be created as a result of the office and commercial spaces; and 300 to 400 full-time construction jobs will be created on an annual basis until the project is completed.

Old Town Development will file zoning documents for the Midtown redevelopment area with the City of Carmel later this week. Construction could begin by summer of 2015. It is anticipated it will take at least five years to complete the project.

"The goal would be that we are under construction by this time next year for the first phase. It is a big project for our community and the company. It will take three-five years to to build out," said Justin Moffett with Old Town Design Group.

Moffett says Old Town Design Group will work on the commercial and retail space first. The company will request TIF support.

"We will request TIF and support from the city for the parking garage and few of the other features.  The message is what the community wants is that we believe what is happening in Carmel, and we will move forward either way," said Moffett.

Moffett says if the company does not get funding help from the City of Carmel, the developer will finish the project but will likely "scale back designs."

Mayor Jim Brainard will not speculate on how much support he will get from City Council.

Council members have been questioning whether the redevelopment commission will generate enough income to meet its $486 million in current obligations through 2037 without raising property taxes, according to our partners at the Indy Star.

Brainard says the Midtown Carmel project is much needed.

"We are in a competitive situation with cities all over the country, not cities in central Indiana. Any improvements we can make are good for people and the community," said Mayor Brainard.

The details of the new Midtown project will be shared and updated on this website.